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Cypriot bank heist will set off alarm bells; Voice of the Park House, 191-197 North Circular Road, Dublin7. Phone: 01 868 8633; Fax: 01 868 8612.

THE ruthless decision of Eurozone finance ministers to seize [euro]6billion from the bank accounts of Cypriot savers should act as a stark warning to Ireland.

Too often, our new masters in Europe are portrayed as allies operating in the best interests of the Irish economy.

But such a rose-tinted view of the financiers behind the bailout is naive and dangerous.

Everything we have done in this economic crisis has been to stop a crippling run on the banks.

But if there is a perception that citizens in weaker countries could be directly penalised if they need financial assistance from Europe, it is obvious investors will flee with their cash to more stable countries like Germany.

This shot across the bows by Europe also makes a mockery of the Government's Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

But aside from the fiscal wisdom of this move, it raises the spectre of something much more sinister - that the EU will always protect wealthy bondholders above poor depositors.

The former are speculators who took a punt and lost while the latter are ordinary people who have spent their lives saving for a rainy day.

So in sacrificing the hard-earned cash of savers to protect faceless bondholders - who should have been burned long before now - the EU has really crossed a line.

Right now there is a serious lack of trust in our politicians - only days ago the Cypriot Prime Minister reassured his people their savings were safe.

The Government must protect the citizens of this country at all costs from these murky developments abroad.
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Title Annotation:Editorial; Opinion, Leading articles
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 17, 2013
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